County Ag News

Invasive plants becoming more problematic

 

The issue of invasive weeds is becoming more prevalent and becoming more of an economic issue throughout the United States. Glossy or shiny buckthorn is a major invader of woodland edges.

This woody shrub will grow to a height of 20-25 feet and will be primarily found along the woodland edges. As it becomes established it will be found further into the forest understory. This woody brush will develop into a monoculture, which will prevent native species from growing. 

Another major problem for our woodlands is garlic mustard which was initially brought into the United States as a herb and has now escaped. This plant is a biennial, which will grow a small rosette the first year and then develops a seed stalk and flower the second year. This plant will develop into a solid stand as an understory plant in our wooded areas and prevent other native plants and trees from growing. 

A plant that is fast expanding in our area is known as spotted knapweed. This plant with its blue cluster of flowers is fast taking over our roadsides and our area pastureland. This plant grows to around 3 feet tall. Typical broadleaf herbicides such as 2,4-D have little effect in controlling it. Horses and cattle don’t care to eat it although there has been some work done in training cattle to eat it. 

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